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Posted: 4/6/2021 7:19:51 PM EDT
Gents,

I grew up in Itasca county and have recently purchased a 20 acre bit of land north of Grand Rapids.  I'm still 5 years away from retiring to my property, but the planning and clearing is about to commence.  What feasible off-grid power solutions should I look at. Solar, I'm guessing will be decent in the summer, with wind decent in the winter.

I'm being realistic here though, I don't expect to completely remove myself from the electric grid, but I would like to have a non-grid tied system in the event of a power failure to power a chest freezer, maybe an outlet or two.  Anyone have any recommendations for this area?
Link Posted: 4/6/2021 8:55:57 PM EDT
For real reliability a generator is the way to go, not green, but does the job when needed.
Link Posted: 4/7/2021 1:26:38 AM EDT
Is this a place that you intend to live at year-round?
Link Posted: 4/7/2021 10:30:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/7/2021 10:49:17 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gingerbreadman:
Is this a place that you intend to live at year-round?
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Yes
Link Posted: 4/7/2021 10:49:43 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
I have to say that first post thing.

Just have a whole-house interlock installed. You have have 1 or more generators (dual fuel propane/gasoline) at the ready. You can size them differently. You can have 1 large conventional generator for big loads, if you have any, and then a small Honda or other inverter generator for your fridge/freezer/window AC/furnace etc.

Tie them up with a big 1000 gallon propane tank, and you are ready for 99% of outage concerns.
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Cool, that's a good solution.
Link Posted: 4/8/2021 9:30:16 AM EDT
I see this outfit advertised near me. Their installation map has locations scattered around the state. If nothing else they have a decent website, ha.

https://www.zenergyguide.com/
Link Posted: 4/8/2021 6:25:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2021 6:26:44 PM EDT by LaserBait]
With 20 Acres, you can get a lot of solar.  

These guys have great deals on used panels - https://store.santansolar.com/product-category/solar-panels/used-solar-panels/
About $50 for a 250W panel.  The panels are from large solar fams in the southwest, and they get updated regularly with larger/more efficient panels, so the old ones go cheap.  They still get over 80% of their rating.

This guy has a ton of videos that should give you a lot of ideas: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoj6RxIAQq8kmJme-5dnN0Q

This is a great starter video: https://youtu.be/7reC9QlPHlA

And my biggest recommendation, don't use lead-acid batteries.  Even the deep cycle batteries wear out fast, like about 500 charge cycles.   I bought LiFePo4, and they have been incredible.  Should be good for 5000+ charge cycles, they weigh about a third of of a lead acid.  No gassing/fumes and no fire hazard, so you can keep them in the house (important, because you can't charge LiFePo4 when they're below 32F).  

I'm planning on putting some solar on my boat to keep the house batteries charged up so I can stay on the hook longer without need to run the genset to charge.
Link Posted: 4/9/2021 6:30:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/9/2021 6:31:34 AM EDT by Weasel_Master]
I've got a cabin with 40 acres north of Rapids.  I just run an inverter generator mostly just lights, microwave, toaster and cycle the freezer every so often in the winter.  In spring I run the freezer a little more, but only using it for freezing hides when I can't keep up with putting them up.  In the late spring through early fall I rarely need the lights so don't run the generator much unless I'm up late.  I've thought about converting it to propane so then I wouldn't have to be so frugal with it, as the nearest gas station is 30 miles away.  It's my cabin but I pretty much live there, got a 70 day stretch in plus most weekends and it works well for me and my family.  If you have a spouse that likes the comfort of being able to leave the coffee pot on instead of using an insulated carafe, being able to turn on light in middle of the night whenever, etc, this wouldn't be the cheapest.

My neighbor a few miles down the road does an inverter generator paired with a solar setup.  He runs both 120V lights and 12V lights.  This is a good solution as you are constantly running through and inverter when all you need is lights, and get more time on a charge.  The solar keeps up pretty well late spring through fall.  Winter he doesn't spend much time there so he just runs the generator.

Edit:reread the post and see you're not looking to go completely off-grid.  In that case get a generator and main interlock and run with it.  I'm assuming you'll have a well, so keep that in mind for your pump inrush.
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